Northstar Oil Change Procedure
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Northstar Oil Change Procedure in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; OK, don't go hiding under a chair or start banging your head against the wall, I know what kind of ...
  1. #1
    JoeT1224's Avatar
    JoeT1224 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Question Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    OK, don't go hiding under a chair or start banging your head against the wall, I know what kind of oil I want to use in my car.

    This summer I plan to do my first oil change on my Eldorado. I have picked up the FSMs from eBay and it doesn't seem too complicated. But I do have a couple of questions:

    1. I've been told that the oil filter is hard to remove and that an old-fashioned "sling type" removal tool would not suffice. What should I get and where can I find it?

    2. The FSM states that I should fill the oil filter with oil before installation. This is where I'm concerned about screwing up. How much oil do I put in there and do I fill it in the center hole or in the surrounding holes?

    I was just curious, because I don't want to ruin my car but I'd feel a lot better doing some things myself. So I figure, I may as well learn while I'm able. Your help (and any tips) is much appreciated!


    Joe

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  3. #2
    codewize's Avatar
    codewize is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I don't know why the Eldo would be different but my DTS is very easy access to the filter like most cars. If it's difficult to access then a can type wrench will work best. Fits around the bottom of the filter and attaches to a ratchet.

    It has been a best practice to pre fill the oil filter forever. Just dump the oil in there slowly, it will fill up quick then settle down. Normally they hold about 3/4 of a quart. It doesn't have to be all the way full, you're just trying to prevent oil delay to the engine.

    If the filter is empty at start-up then you're running with 0 oil pressure to the engine until the filter is primed. Pre filling prevents this and delivers oil to the engine right away, as it should
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    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I think Codewise meant "cap" type wrench. Be advised that there are small differences in size so try one on the new filter when you buying it.

    FWIW, I have never prefilled the filter. Certainly won't hurt to do it though.

  5. #4
    chazglenn3's Avatar
    chazglenn3 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I have never pre-filled either.

  6. #5
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    90% of engine wear happens at startup when there's no oil pressure. Imagine dragging that out to 20 seconds while the oil filter fills up.

  7. #6
    JoeT1224's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    Thanks to all of you for giving me your words of wisdom.

    Joe

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    codewize's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    Yeah that. I didn't really know what they were called. One of the metal ones that fits on the end of the filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    I think Codewise meant "cap" type wrench. Be advised that there are small differences in size so try one on the new filter when you buying it.

    FWIW, I have never prefilled the filter. Certainly won't hurt to do it though.
    Exactly. That's something I was taught the first time I did an oil change and I've done it ever since.
    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    90% of engine wear happens at startup when there's no oil pressure. Imagine dragging that out to 20 seconds while the oil filter fills up.
    Ownership:
    89 STS (1 of 1893) - FOR SALE
    91 d'Elegance 350
    02 DTS
    01 DTS:
    Custom installed Volant CAI
    Custom PCM
    Body color engine components
    Cruiser Alloy wheels
    EBC brakes and rotors
    Eibach springs
    Corsa exhaust
    Sportwing Spoiler
    Semi-custom interior
    Custom quad Hi-Beams
    Future Plans: More interior work.


    Memberships:
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    Proud Volunteer - Northstar Tuning Project
    Guinness World Records - Largest Cadillac Parade

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  9. #8
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I use a tool similar to this one:
    http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/KD-3253.html

    Except mine is nicer, deeper and fits a couple different size filters.
    It works perfectly on the delco PF61.

    You certainly can fill the filter, just put the oil in the center slowly until it won't take any more. The oil will saturate the filter and drop. No it is not necessary but you certainly are welcome to do it if you want.

    The biggest problem with getting a filter off is the moron who put it on before you.
    As soon as the seal on the filter kisses the block, you only need turn it 3/4 of another turn.
    Don't install the filter with a filter wrench or overtighten it by hand.
    All you have to do is snug up the seal, it doesn't hold the engine together!
    I have gone through some serious nightmares due to morons overtightening filters!

    HTH.

  10. #9
    codewize's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    Ohhh yes. Good tip. Hand tight is usually good enough. If you over tighten you'll wreck the gasket I used to always go had tight and just a little tiny snug with the wrench.

    The first time I did that on the N* I wrecked the gasket on the filter, or at least I think I did. All I know is it leaked like hell and the remedy was changing the filter and only tightening by hand.

    If you have doubts just check it after the first day of driving.
    Ownership:
    89 STS (1 of 1893) - FOR SALE
    91 d'Elegance 350
    02 DTS
    01 DTS:
    Custom installed Volant CAI
    Custom PCM
    Body color engine components
    Cruiser Alloy wheels
    EBC brakes and rotors
    Eibach springs
    Corsa exhaust
    Sportwing Spoiler
    Semi-custom interior
    Custom quad Hi-Beams
    Future Plans: More interior work.


    Memberships:
    National and regional Cadillac & LaSalle Club
    Proud Volunteer - Northstar Tuning Project
    Guinness World Records - Largest Cadillac Parade

    ----------------------------

  11. #10
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    They have a picture on the side of the filter that shows you how to install it.
    It used to be plain English... as I described above.
    Has anyone ever read the label on an oil filter?
    Now it has an icon and a fraction, so you have to think a little bit when you look at it.
    At least the Delco filter is that way.

  12. #11
    Onalaska's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    Remember to lube the oil filter gasket with new engine oil before installing the filter. This is easy to do if you are filling the filter with new oil before installing it on the car.

  13. #12
    JoeT1224's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    You people are great thanks so much.

    ewill3rd, that is exactly how the instructions are displayed on the PF61 filter. To hell with those, I'd rather read what you all have to say.

    Oh, and is that end cap remover (the one you gave me thhe link to) the correct size for my filter? If it is I'm going to go ahead and order one.

    Joe

  14. #13
    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I am not sure that is the specific one for the 61.
    This is the EXACT one I have, it is available online through Snap-on.
    It is the best one for GM filters I have seen on the market.
    It has the best fit of any of the other ones I have tried and it works like a charm.

    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

    I like the tool warehouse better, but I am not sure about the socket I pointed out before.
    I know the one above is perfect.
    It fits two sizes, and I think it is only like 8 bucks.

  15. #14
    Dooman's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    I've always only used hand-strength on mine, actually all 4 of my vehicles. Fortunately I can reach them good enough to get a grip and am able to remove and replace with peace of mind. Always lubed the seal but never pre-filled.. maybe nowI will.

  16. #15
    jadcock's Avatar
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    Re: Northstar Oil Change Procedure

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    90% of engine wear happens at startup when there's no oil pressure. Imagine dragging that out to 20 seconds while the oil filter fills up.
    As long as the oil pressure light isn't on, the engine has sufficient pressure.

    I've never pre-filled a filter. The light doesn't stay on in any of my vehicles for longer than maybe 1 second after the engine starts. Even with a dry filter, the pressure is built almost immediately.

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